A labyrinth is a path or walkway built on sacred geometric principles, which we enter, walk a specified, meandering route and return to the same point that we started on. Walking a labyrinth can have the same quality to it as we deepen insights into ourselves.
All labyrinths, however complex their layout may seem, are based on the same essential spiral shape. The spiral can be seen as our path through life as we move out into the world from the centre; likewise it mirrors our return from the world to our source.
Many people, when troubled, facing a difficult decision or unable to solve a problem, instinctively take a walk. This purposeful walking is clearly related to the principle of walking the labyrinth. When walking a spiral or labyrinth, it is necessary to follow a few simple rules:
- Before entering, spend a few moments in reflection on where you are in your life; you may find a focus, question, statement or prayer you wish to take in with you
- Do not enter with any expectation of results; this is setting you up for disappointment. Go in with an open heart and mind
- Move through the labyrinth at a pace, time and manner that feel right to you, but respecting others who may be there with you
Labyrinths have begun to be reintroduced in churches, gardens, public parks and in hospitals where both staff and patients have made use of them, sometimes as part of a "caring for the carers" project.
Labyrinths appear to be helpful in many ways from allowing us to relax to divine inspiration; they should be seriously considered for reintegration into our everyday lives as tools for the scared, and as helpmates on our spiritual journey.